Current Events

October 2011
• The Student Senate voted unanimously to support SACS Reaffirmation 2014.

February 2012
• In June, UHV will participate in an orientation session for the SACS reaffirmation visit in 2014. There are certain requirements for the team that will go to the orientation, including the SACS liaison (Dr. Jeffrey Cass), the President (Dr. Phil Castille), the Chief Financial Officer (Wayne Beran), and the Institutional Effectiveness representative (Dr. Jill Fox). Only five-member teams are allowed.  It was decided to have a faculty representative go with the team, so the faculty could be better informed about the latest in SACS information. Since Dr. Denise Neill will be the Faculty Senate President in the next academic year, she has graciously agreed to attend the orientation session.  Click here for additional information about the orientation website. 

March 2012
• Dr. Jeffrey Cass felt the IE Steering Committee needed more faculty representation, so deans were asked for suggestions of additional members who would provide rigorous feedback and ideas.  The new additions are Dr. Thomas Cox, Dr. Jeffrey Moe, Dr. Ron Salazar, and Dr. Gino Tozzi.

• Dr. Jeffrey Cass recently made some changes in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness which should expedite the flow and analysis of data, increase faculty participation in the development of the QEP, and facilitate the management of the drafting of key SACS documents.

    a. There is now a SACS Working Management Group headed by Dr. Jeffrey Cass which includes Casey Akins, Dr. Uppinder Mehan, Dr. Jill Fox, and Dr. Larry Rossow. This group will review all documents and data prior to any transmission to external bodies, including the Faculty Senate, Student Senate, Staff Council, or other interested parties.

    b. Dr. Jill Fox and Casey Akins are now co-directors of Institutional Effectiveness, and they are co-chairs of the Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee. Both will continue to share responsibilities for data collection and analysis.  Ms. Akins will now make public presentations to all campus and community stakeholders, manage focus groups, and explain to interested parties the progress of our efforts towards reaffirmation. Dr. Fox will focus on SACS reporting, Web management, and the drafting of the SACS responses to individual principles of accreditation.

    c. Dr. Lawrence Rossow will move his office to the University Center building to be near Dr. Uppinder Mehan's office in order to co-manage the processes related to the Quality Enhancement Plan, including its drafting, dissemination, editing, and collating. All data from OIE already gathered will be transferred to them. They are now in charge of these processes. OIE will be principally involved for the technical side of QEP implementation, though since the directors are already on the SACS Working Management Group, they will have input into QEP management and direction. When on campus in Victoria, Ms. Akins will work out of the vacated office in OIE in Academic Affairs, which will become the SACS Compliance Audit Office. Dr. Rossow's new office in the University Center Building will become the QEP Office.

    d. Dr. Uppinder Mehan will be in touch to announce a new piece of the process, whereby faculty at large (and staff as well) may volunteer to be on another theme selection team. All faculty are welcome to volunteer, and all will be able to review the data. The results of this new piece of the process will be integrated with those processes which we have already established and results already obtained. These separate theme selection processes will ensure that any faculty member who chooses to may have access to the SACS Working Management Group and, more importantly, have a voice in the SACS process. The same is true for any staff member.

    e. Minutes will not only be posted, but they will be formally approved by the committees in order to have a historical record for the various publics to view and to indicate that committee members approved the content.

    f. If there are questions for anything related to the compliance audit, contact Dr. Jill Fox in OIE; for the QEP, contact Dr. Lawrence Rossow or Dr. Uppinder Mehan in the Office of the QEP. 

• The QEP Theme Selection Subcommittee formed and met to review the raw data collected from surveys and focus groups within the last eight months. Thirteen QEP themes emerged:

1. Enhance Academic Flexibility – online, F2F, time, faculty, availability
2. Increase Engagement – interaction between students/faculty/community and continuing real world
3. Technology –more and greater use and ease
4. Offer a Variety of Teaching Methods/Styles
5. Critical Thinking
6. Increase Student Diversity
7. Enhanced Advising – prerequisite, course rotation
8. Opportunities for Experiential Learning – internships, community service
9. Increased/Availability in Courses – rigor/quality, grade inflation
10. Career Prep/Guidance
11. Interdisciplinary thinking as a goal
12. Emphasis on Better Writing
13. More Faculty/Smaller Classes

The themes were ranked 1-4 by the subcommittee, with 1 being the most often mentioned in the raw data. 

April 2012
• "Imagine That” survey was offered to the community, resulting in 134 respondents and 204 comments.

• Compliance Assist!, our foundational SACS software, was introduced to Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee members.  A file system was organized on a SharePoint site for the assessment plans and reports.  Partners were assigned for the internal audits of the assessment reports and will begin soon.

May 2012
• Four common concerns emerged from the community survey and the raw data:  increase engagement, enhance academic flexibility, improve class scheduling and provide great course rigor.  The four concerns were narrowed to three after the QEP Development Team agreed that two were connected and could be combined.  The three possible themes became:

1. Increase engagement
2. Enhance academic flexibility/improve class scheduling
3. Provide greater course rigor

• Drs. Rossow and Mehan wrote mini-prospectuses on the three themes that emerged.

June 2012
• Dr. Margaret Rice, Special Assistant to the Provost, moved from the President’s office to the Provost office and will now be a part of the OIE.  She will be assisting Dr. Jill Fox with writing the Compliance Certificate.

• The meeting of the Institutional Leadership Team was held on June 14, 2012.  The team reached a consensus to pursue QEP Possibility #1(b) Increase Engagement-Learning Communities as the QEP topic.

• Dr. Cass announced that UHV's previous institutional strategic plan, which must now include our QEP, needs to be revised in preparation for discussions with SACS regarding our reaffirmation. Drs. Cass and Rice will co-chair the committee and compose the final strategic planning document with all the other pieces of documentation that SACS requires.
In consultation with the deans, directors, and other staff members, Dr. Cass proposed the following Strategic Planning Committee which includes an external community member and two students, all of whom will provide a different perspective as we deliberate our strategic future.  Anyone who would like to participate or has other suggestions for inclusion, please contact Dr. Cass at 570-4321 or email

            Andrew Baerg, Associate Professor of Communication 
                and Director of Core Curriculum Redesign
            Jeffrey Cass, Provost, co-chair
            Joe Dahlstrom, Sr. Director of Libraries
            Estella de los Santos, Professor of Education
            Jill Fox, Director of Institutional Effectiveness
            Charmelle Garrett, PRAB and community member
            Jere Hammer, Assistant Professor of Nursing
            Lindsey Koch, Director of Student Life
            Freddie Litton, Dean of Education
            Uppinder Mehan, Chair of Humanities
            Kevin Myers, Director of Facilities
            Chari Norgard, Student Affairs
            Darlene Pullin, Budget Director
            Omar Rachid, PRAB and community member
            Margaret Rice, Chief of Staff, co-chair
            Jonathan Salazar, Graduate Student
            Ron Salazar, Professor of Business and VP of Faculty Senate
            Denee Thomas, Sr. Director of Enrollment Management
            Marci Wallace, Web Services Manager
            Ash Walyuchow, Athletic Director
            Jena West, UG Student and SGA President

August 2012
• UHV chooses "Enhanced Engagement Through Learning Communities" as the QEP topic.  Read more

September 2012
• Phone interviews began for the vacant position of Associate Director of Assessment.

• The Community Service Committee was formed to create a university-wide definition of "community service".  Committee members are:    

             Jill Fox, OIE Director of Assessment 
             Lindsey Koch
             Elsa Leggett
             Eunice Mesa
             Amy Mundy, Chair 
             Barba Patton
             Margaret Rice

October 2012
• The Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee began its first internal audit of academic and non-academic units.

• OIE welcomed the new Associate Director of Assessment, Dr. Sharon Bailey.

• The new QEP Planning & Implementation Team was formed and consists of six subcommittees:  Budget, Assessment, Promotion/Marketing, Academic Learning Communities, Residential Learning Communities and Academic Support and Research.